Work Experience at Family Law Partners
I remember waking up that morning terrified at the prospect of having my first legal work experience but I knew it was going to be an interesting one. I really enjoy Family Law lectures and was looking forward to seeing how it’s done in practice.
Arriving at Family Law Partners, I was told the schedule for the day and asked to sign a confidentiality agreement. I was then introduced to a friendly team of lawyers and given a table, which I called my “special office space”. This made me feel like I was part of the team and immediately I let go of my doubts.
My first task for the day was to carry out research on Law firms, using video links such as Skype calls and conference calls to communicate with clients. After research, I reported my findings to Mariam Walters, the amazing practice manager of the firm. Then, it became more interesting when I was scheduled to sit in during Lisa Burton-Durham’s sessions with her clients. Lisa is a resolution trained Collaborative Lawyer at FLP.
Prior to each session, I was told there was need to acquire consent from the clients, as to whether they were receptive to the idea of a student sitting in during their session. Luckily, I was allowed to do so and after reading some notes on the client’s case, we went in. I remember thinking “Wow, I have had lectures on the range of issues family lawyers deal with, but nothing compares to witnessing it first-hand”.
After that session, my outlook on marriage changed completely. It gave me a realistic view on marriage and has made me more aware of potential issues that I may encounter in the future. My respect for family lawyers grew immensely having witnessed some of the issues they deal with on a regular basis. Seeing Lisa provide advice with so much compassion and understanding, made me realize what it truly meant to be a ‘good’ family lawyer.
My second task involved carrying out research and pretending to be Linda Lamb, one of the directors at FLP, to get information from the Scotland Society, which was so cool!
The FLP team treated me to lunch and at the end, I had an informative chat with Alan Larkin who recommended me to Gerry Maye, A Criminal Law Barrister, for another shadowing experience, after I expressed my interest in this field. This was definitely an experience I would love to be a part of again.
The best part was that this opportunity came easily, as I met Alan at one of the Law networking events and after a chat with him, I was given a chance to Shadow him. So, if you’re looking for work experience, Family Law Partners is definitely the first choice. Not only do they make it easy for students to get the experience needed, they make you feel like you’re part of the team.